Implementation of a Curriculum-Integrated Computer Game for Introducing Scientific Argumentation

Robert C. Wallon, Chandana Jasti, Hillary Z.G. Lauren, Barbara Hug

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Argumentation has been emphasized in recent US science education reform efforts (NGSS Lead States 2013; NRC 2012), and while existing studies have investigated approaches to introducing and supporting argumentation (e.g., McNeill and Krajcik in Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 45(1), 53–78, 2008; Kang et al. in Science Education, 98(4), 674–704, 2014), few studies have investigated how game-based approaches may be used to introduce argumentation to students. In this paper, we report findings from a design-based study of a teacher’s use of a computer game intended to introduce the claim, evidence, reasoning (CER) framework (McNeill and Krajcik 2012) for scientific argumentation. We studied the implementation of the game over two iterations of development in a high school biology teacher’s classes. The results of this study include aspects of enactment of the activities and student argument scores. We found the teacher used the game in aspects of explicit instruction of argumentation during both iterations, although the ways in which the game was used differed. Also, students’ scores in the second iteration were significantly higher than the first iteration. These findings support the notion that students can learn argumentation through a game, especially when used in conjunction with explicit instruction and support in student materials. These findings also highlight the importance of analyzing classroom implementation in studies of game-based learning.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)236-247
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Science Education and Technology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 1 2018


  • Curriculum
  • Game-based learning
  • Scientific argumentation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • General Engineering


Dive into the research topics of 'Implementation of a Curriculum-Integrated Computer Game for Introducing Scientific Argumentation'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this